“The more we let God take us over, the more truly ourselves we become – because He made us. He invented us. He invented all the different people that you and I were intended to be. . .It is when I turn to Christ, when I give up myself to His personality, that I first begin to have a real personality of my own.”
― C.S. Lewis
This is my calling-this is our calling. As Christians, we are called to be conformed to the image of Christ, and that means letting go of the things we try so hard to find identity in. The things that we think will give us purpose and meaning outside of Christ.
It’s a messy process, and sometimes we wonder if we will ever make it home in one piece. If we do (He promises so), we wonder if anyone there will recognize us anymore. We’ve been so disfigured by trials and strivings, discolored by grief and pain. The battles of our souls have left gaping wounds that still sting when they are touched.
So we hide. We can’t let them see our failings. We strive, trying so hard to remedy our imperfections.
Bitterness grows like a weed, for so many have wronged us. We build walls so we don’t get hurt, in constant fear of being so.
We cry, “Lord, how long? How long till I am home, and I get to see the hope of my salvation?”
And He says, “Look, you are not far off. Do you not see, beyond the valleys, mountains, and oceans, your rest? It won’t be long till you see My face.”
Then we answer, “But the valleys are filled with thorns, the mountains their precipices, and the oceans their torrenting waves.”
“I know, I’ve been there.”
“Why the deserts, Lord? Why the pain?”
*“I take you through deserts to have all the things you settle for stripped away, so that the hunger of your soul will be allowed to grow and reveal to you that you hunger for Me.”*
Then He touches our wounds with His own, and begins to tear down our walls. We become vulnerable. We become fleshy. Pain floods the sinew and skin. Many tears are shed, none of which He does not hold in His hand. They are a precious offering to Him.
Then we begin to see ourselves. Not for the dirty, bloody mess that we saw, but for the righteousness of His son that He sees.
Then there is joy.
“But what about the pain?”
Pain does not smother joy. Pain only brings true joy a meaning, and something to hope in. For without hope, that is, eternal hope, there would be no reason to sing through the pain.
Oh, weary child, we are almost home.
“Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” 1 Timothy 6:12
*Credit to Pastor Scott Moore-thanks for pointing out this massive truth.